Bijdragen & Bronnen

Economisch nationalisme. Naar een historisch gefundeerd theoretisch kader

  • Olivier Boehme


Economic Nationalism. Towards a Historically Founded Theoretical Framework
This article is meant as a contribution to a historically founded framework for the study of economic nationalism. For an interpretation of economic nationalism the existing literature offers dispersed elements, but no coherent theoretical basis nor a uniform definition.
Economic nationalism can follow an outward and an inward way and both ways are mutually dependent. This includes the paradox that economic nationalism can be combined with cross-border, continental or even global integration, especially if this supports the viability of the national autonomy. There is as much interaction between economy and nation: the latter can provide an appropriate functional framework for the first, but this in turn is able to create a single national reference and/or strengthen nationalism.
Economic nationalism is essentially nationalism with economic means, nationalism being the starting point of (socio-)economic analysis, target identification and deployment of resources, which serve the nationalist agenda and for which not only a materialistic definition of ‘profit’ is used. As a consequence of the instrumental nature of economics in relation to nationalism, economic nationalism isn’t founded on one exclusive economic theory and is in this respect pluralistic. This doesn’t prevent economic nationalism from showing a strong tendency in the name of a unified national identity to conceal socio-economic, ideological and/or other cleavages within its own ‘identity’-group. The instrumental nature of economic and non-material definition of profit associated with nationalism can even show an anti-economistic way of thinking.
However, the definition of economic nationalism as nationalism with economic means does not exclude societal actors actually using nationalistic arguments in pursuing their economic interests. So there seems to exist a hard, fundamental, as well as a soft, more opportunistic, type of economic nationalism.

How to Cite:

Boehme, O., (2012) “Economisch nationalisme. Naar een historisch gefundeerd theoretisch kader”, WT. Tijdschrift over de geschiedenis van de Vlaamse beweging 71(1), 7-33. doi:

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Published on
21 Mar 2012
Peer Reviewed